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Soon after their appearance in the 1840's, stamps became the focus of collectors. They developed a life of their own, apart from their official role on letters and parcels. Canada's first stamp, the Three penny Beaver, designed by Sandford Fleming, was printed in 1851. Thirteen years later, Canada's first philatelic pamphlet, The Stamp Collector's Record, was published in Montreal, only a year after a similar one in England. Stamp collecting's appeal is universal. With a vast array of stamps available, collectors tend to narrow their scope to specific categories-concentrating for example on stamps with certain themes, or from particular countries. Governments try to tempt collectors (and generate revenue) by issuing a host of stamps and stamps sets.

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